CHD Educational Resources

CHD Educational Resources

African American Hair Care & Exercise

This booklet will explain: • why hair care can be time consuming in the African American community • common concerns of exercising and seeking health care • ways to care for your hair in and out of the gym • different methods of exercising.



The keys to successful and healthy weight-loss are:

  1. Setting realistic goals - The most effective goals are specific, attainable, andlenient
  2. Altering your environment and behaviors to ensure success
  3. Monitoring your progress
  4. Updating your goals

Calories are a form of energy for the body. The calories provided by the foods you eat and beverages you drink bring energy INTO your body. What you burn through normal everyday activities as well as through physical activity is energy OUT of your body.

The calories needed to maintain normal daily activities such as sleeping, breathing, and digestion make up your basal metabolic rate. Your basal metabolic rate accounts for the majority of calories you burn up each day. The calories needed for digestion make up the thermic effect of food. The rest of your calories are used for other activities such as exercise, or they are stored as fat.

Weight Management

Calories IN = Calories OUT

Weight Loss

Calories OUT > Calories IN

Weight Gain

Calories IN > Calories OUT

Recommendations include:
  • Planning well-balanced meals and healthy snacks
  • Eating reasonable portions of foods and beverages
  • Setting realistic weight-loss goals
  • Altering your environment toward attaining your goal
  • Increasing your physical activity
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Healthy Eating on the Go

Whatever the reason, meeting our daily quota for vitamins and minerals does not happen if we don’t plan ahead and simply grab foods on the go. So if you’re concerned that the fastest fare isn’t the most nutritious, then quench your thirst for knowledge with these convenient ways to eat more nutritious foods without sacrificing taste.

Six Tips for Eating on the Go

  1. Keep healthy snacks with you and at the places you frequent most. Doing so will help you avoid eating fast foods.
  2. Choose deli-style fast food restaurants where you can order a vegetable-filled sandwich on a whole grain wrap or bread. Order fewer fried foods.
  3. Monitor portion sizes. Order the regular size of a meal or even a kid's meal for yourself. Avoid supersizing - the larger the portion, the more calories, fat, and sodium you’ll consume.
  4. Choose the healthy options.
  5. Cut the condiments.
  6. Ditch the devilish drink. Avoid high calorie drinks.

More Tips found Here!

Heartburn and Your Health

Ever have a burning sensation in your chest or throat? Well, it could be heartburn.

What is Heartburn?

A painful burning sensation in your chest or throat, usually just behind your breastbone.


  • Stomach acid backing up into your esophagus
  • Trigger foods and beverages
  • Some medications
  • Pregnancy
  • Excess body weight
  • Eating then lying on your back


  • Burning sensation in the chest after eating
  • Burning or “off” taste in the throat
  • Feeling that food is “sticking” in the middle of the chest or throat


  • Eat slowly
  • Wear loose-fitting clothes
  • Avoid triggers foods/drinks
  • Stop smoking
  • Limit or avoid alcohol
  • Try to avoid overeating
  • If overweight, try to lose weight
  • Try to avoid going to bed with a full stomach
Want to know more about Heartburn and Your Health?

High Blood Pressure - Reducing Salt Intake

Why does reducing salt (sodium) intake help lower blood pressure? Too much salt in your diet can lead to water retention – swelling of feet, ankles or hands – which can be harmful to several major organs

Because sodium attracts and holds water, blood volume can increase with higher intakes of dietary sodium – the increase in blood volume increases blood pressure. Too much salt in your diet can lead to water retention – swelling of feet, ankles or hands – which can be harmful to several major organs.

Sodium Recommendation ≤ 1,500 mg per day

Here are some quick tips for decreasing the amount of salt in your diet:

  • Buy fresh, frozen or canned “no-salt-added” vegetables
  • Rinse canned foods, such as beans, to remove some sodium
  • Opt for reduced-sodium, low-sodium, or no-salt-added products when available
  • Add less salt at the table during meals
  • Substitute herbs and spices for salt when flavoring dishes
  • Cook your own pasta or seasoned rice dishes instead of using packaged mixes
  • Use fresh poultry, fish, and lean meat instead of canned or processed products
  • Prepare quick, fresh meals more often than convenience foods or frozen entrees

High Blood Pressure - What is it and how to lower it? 

Learn how to tell whether your blood pressure is high and tips on how to lower it if it is high.

Blood pressure is the force exerted by circulating blood on the walls of the blood vessels that take blood from the heart to the rest of the body.

What do the numbers mean?

  • Systolic pressure (the top number on a blood pressure monitor) signifies the pressure generated
    when the heart contracts
  • Diastolic pressure (the bottom number on a blood pressure monitor) signifies the pressure generated
    when the heart is relaxed, which is more important to know than systolic pressure

Why is high blood pressure (HBP) dangerous?

  • HBP (hypertension) makes the heart work very hard
  • HBP increases risk for heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and blindness

 What can you do to lower HBP?

  • Weight reduction
  • Lower salt (sodium) intake
  • Try the DASH Diet 
  • Exercise more
  • Keep alcohol consumption moderate
Check out these two handouts for more information:
What is High Blood Pressure?
Tips on Lowering High Blood Pressure

  1. If there are extra socks in your home, try using them to create weights! This can be done by filling a sock with pennies or dried beans and tying a knot at the end.
  2. A great cardio exercise is walking up and down the stairs.
  3. Dancing! That’s right, crank up the music and go for it!
  4. If your child has a hula-hoop, try using it for an aerobic workout. Hula-hooping may be an effective way to encourage your children to stay active, too. 
  5. Use those homemade sock weights or handheld dumbbells for strength exercises.
  6. Crunches are another classic exercise. This alternative to sit-ups allows you to get a great
    abdominal workout without putting too much strain on your lower back. 
  7. Wall-sits help strengthen and tone your quadriceps. To do a wall sit, stand in front of a wall, with your back facing it. 
  8. Is the weather gloomy outside? Great! Turn on the TV…and click to your cable provider’s “On Demand” page and locate the “fitness” which offers free workout.

Suppress the Stress!

Too much stress in your life can hurt your heart and increase your risk for heart disease, also known as cardiovascular disease.

Read the Signs!

Get to know the signs and symptoms of heart attacks and strokes, two of the most common forms of heart disease.

Use Less Salt!

Although salt may help flavor your food, it should be used sparingly because it can increase blood pressure. Salt (or sodium) intake should be around 1,500 mg, but especially for people who:

  • are aged 51 and older
  • are African American (of all ages)
  • have high blood pressure, diabetes, or any chronic disease

Regardless of age, race, or ethnicity, salt intake should not go above 2,300 mg.

Lower Fat Intake!

Fats from food are part of a healthful diet, but the total amount of fat and the type of fats eaten can affect heart health. High amounts of saturated and trans fats increase the risk of heart disease by increasing unhealthy blood lipid (fat) levels. To reduce the risk of heart disease, the majority of fats in a diet should come from unsaturated (monounsaturated & polyunsaturated) fats.

Learn more about Leading a Heart Healthy Life.

At first, planning meals takes a little extra time and effort beyond what you are used to spending on preparing and eating meals. Remember that food is an integral part of your life and health and deserves some quality time. Eventually, meal planning becomes second nature. Planning meals will become a valuable habit that will save you time and money.

Ask yourself:

  1. What is your eating pattern?
  2. Does your eating pattern prevent you from getting hungry?
  3. What foods do your family members enjoy eating?
  4. How much do you budget for food?
  5. How much time do I put into planning my meals?
  6. How comfortable am I with adapting my eating pattern to be consistent with my weight-loss plan?
  7. How will meal planning help me meet the Dietary Guidelines?

Meal Planning is a three-step process

  • STEP 1: Decide on your meals
  • STEP 2: Create the shopping list
  • STEP 3: Use your plan!

Up in the Air!

Ropes & Adventure Courses

Overcome obstacles and/or maneuver from tree to tree using balance beams, suspended wires, and zip lines.

Rock Climbing

Climb up natural rock formations (boulders, hills, or mountains) or indoor man-made rock walls.

Getting a Little Wet!

Rafting, Kayaking, or Canoeing

If you have a lake, a river, or even an ocean near you, then getting a little wet might be a way to keep cool while exercising.

Keeping it Friendly!


Social Sports

Many places throughout the country, especially around major cities,offer numerous social sports such as kickball, dodgeball, softball, flag football, and soccer that are inexpensive to join.

Keeping your Feet on the Ground!

Mountain biking

A great workout that not only burns fat, but also builds muscle. It can be difficult and scary at first, but becomes easier with practice.


A team sport in which a team tries to eliminate the other team by hitting them with gelatin paint filled capsules using air guns.


Find a mapped/marked trail and just start walking. If you want to add a little fun to your hike, try Geocaching, an activity in which you search for hidden items during your hikes using a GPS.

When starting any new activity, it is good to get the opinion of a doctor to make sure that you are physically well enough to engage in the activity. It also is a good idea to start off slow when beginning any of these activities.

Download information on these summer adventures with more tips at 

Outdoor Summer Adventures Part 1 and Outdoor Summer Adventures Part 2.

Here are some brief tips for reaching and maintaining your weight loss goals.

  1. Remember your goal

  2. Keep realistic goals

  3. Increase the amount of time you exercise

  4. Try healthier food preparation and cooking techniques

  5. Choose low-fat options when available

  6. Select healthier options

Check out more Tips for Weight Management.


1. Our people have always been big. We are big boned.

Rationale: Because we have always been big, the standards do not pertain to us.

Facts: In the 1960s, 50% of African American women were overweight or obese compared to almost 70% today. In addition, African American women were more active in the 1960s.

2. I like my curves – I don’t want to lose them.

Rationale: Many women reject the European beauty ideal and celebrate beauty in heavier, more curvaceous bodies.

Facts: Body size is a health issue. Carrying extra weight on your body places extra burden on your major organs, in particular your heart, and blood vessels – which in turn increases your blood pressure.

3. I am tired of hearing that all African American women are overweight.

Rationale: This is how we are.

Facts: Although in the past most of the research and guidelines related to weight was based on Caucasians, current knowledge addresses many racial and ethnic groups. Focus on your health numbers (blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar) and on your ability to be active.

Click here to see the full article.

These tips may not only help you maintain your weight, but they can also help you build a stronger bond between you and your partner. Supporting each other is a key component to living a healthier life together.

  • Look for support from your spouse or significant other. 
  • Go grocery shopping together
  • Prepare meals together
  • Get up and move

Be a role model for your kids. Many times, children reflect the patterns and habits of their parents. Try setting a good example for your children by eating well, exercising, and introducing them to healthy foods and physical activities.

  • Start early
  • Choices
  • Get children involved